NBA Top Shot 101

The NFT marketplace allows you to buy and sell original NBA digital content.

AccessTimeIconAug 12, 2022 at 7:14 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:50 p.m. UTC
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NBA Top Shot is an NFT (non-fungible token) marketplace that allows people to collect and trade video clips, known at NBA Top Shot as Moments, from National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association games. These digital collectibles are stored on the blockchain and are comparable with a digital version of a trading card. You can buy, sell or trade these Moments just like you can with other NFT collectibles.

The project is a collaboration between the NBA, the NBA Players Association and Dapper Labs and was launched in 2020.

This piece is part of CoinDesk's Sports Week.

What are Moment NFTs?

Moment NFTs are official NBA digital collectibles that capture epic highlights from NBA games and of players. These NFTs consist of short videos that show an amazing highlight from the court, such as a half-court 3-pointer or a buzzer-beating jump shot, along with details on the team, player and any other info that makes that Moment special.

Each "Moment" is like a digital version of a trading card. Simply put, a Moment NFT is licensed by the NBA and minted with a unique serial number that includes game and player stats. You can buy, sell or trade these Moments just like any other collectible. NBA Top Shot Moments are digital collectibles that live on the blockchain.

Apart from the core collection, a Moment can also depict a historical event for one of the teams in the NBA or WNBA.

All Moment NFTs are minted on the Flow blockchain with a link to a special-event video, although the videos themselves are stored off-chain.

What are Moment tiers?

Moment NFTs are categorized into a tier representing their status and scarcity. There are five "Moment tiers":

  • Common: Common Moments are the most available NFTs as the circulation count often starts from 4000-plus. These are readily available in either packs or the marketplace.
  • Fandom: This tier is the most exciting collection experience for fans. The circulation count is driven by dynamic demand rather than by a specific mint number. This tier of NFTs can be found during special promotional activities.
  • Rare: The originality of these Moments is marked by neon corners on the front. Rare tier Moments have a circulation size from 250 to 2,022.
  • Legendary: Legendary Moments are the most prestigious among all the tiers. The circulation count ranges from 50 to 125 with neon corners. Because of their scarcity, these are the most sought-after Moments.

What are NBA Top Shot packs?

NBA Top Shot packs are randomly selected Moments bundled into a pack, usually by a specific theme such as WNBA and the NBA summer league.

Three categories of packs:

  • Common packs: These packs, which contain a variety of common Moments, are the most widely purchased packs. The names of common packs might vary, but a base set pack, like the starter pack, is the most prevalent type of common pack.
  • Rare packs: Between common and legendary packs, rare packs are in the middle and can distribute Moments anyway they see fit. They will typically include a mix of several common Moments and one uncommon Moment.
  • Legendary packs: Legendary packs are the most expensive and in-demand packs. They typically contain one legendary Moment, three rare Moments, and numerous common Moments.

What you need to get started

You will need to create an account on the NBA Top Shot website to get started. Once you have done that, you can start buying, selling or trading.

How to open an account on NBA Top Shot

Go to and register with an email account or choose your Google account for a quick sign-up.

The default wallet for NBA Top Shop is the Dapper wallet, which is linked directly to NBA Top Shot from the navigation bar under the profile icon in the top right. The Dapper wallet is the easiest choice and allows users to gain rankings and points that make up internal rankings like “Top Shot Score,” but you can use any wallet compatible with the Flow blockchain to store your NFTs.

For payments, you will be able to use either fiat currency, credit card or cryptocurrency such as ETH and FLOW.

NBA Top Shot uses the Flow blockchain to record each Moments transaction.

1. After signing up using your specified email address, click the button wherein you are to the terms and conditions of the website.

Sign up (NBA Top Shot)
Sign up (NBA Top Shot)

2. Don't forget to review and agree to the terms and use privacy policy, and NBA privacy policy.

Terms of use (NBA Top Shot)
Terms of use (NBA Top Shot)

3. Choose your favorite NBA or WNBA team.

Favorite team (NBA Top Shot)
Favorite team (NBA Top Shot)

4. After that, you can see the available products and start collecting.

Collecting (NBA Top Shot)
Collecting (NBA Top Shot)

Buying NFTs on NBA Top Shot

There are a few ways to obtain NFTs on Top Shot The most common methods are through packs under drops (as shown in the red box below) or by purchasing packs or Moments individually in the marketplace (as shown in the blue box below).

Drops vs marketplace (NBA Top Shot)
Drops vs marketplace (NBA Top Shot)

You can get Moments in three ways:

Pack purchases

Packs are blind purchases that offer a chance to get random Moments. As we outlined earlier, packs have different tiers and some will be more expensive than others. Just like with physical trading card packs, the contents of each pack are not made public until they are opened and the Moments are revealed.

A marketplace is a place where you can buy and sell Moments with other members of the community. All transactions on the marketplace are done using flow, the cryptocurrency that powers NBA Top Shot.


You can opt to complete a challenge to obtain a Moment NFT. Challenges comprise of tasks that you need to complete to enter the challenge to be qualified for a reward. For instance, the screenshot below shows the tasks associated with this Donovan Mitchell challenge.

Challenge requirements (NBA Top Shot)
Challenge requirements (NBA Top Shot)

Farther down the page, the tasks are defined more clearly, like the screenshot below for the Donovan Mitchell challenge.

Detailed requirements (NBA Top Shot)
Detailed requirements (NBA Top Shot)

NFT marketplace

Apart from buying packs, you can search for individual Moments according to subcategories like rookies and top sales. For example, the homepage of the marketplace lets you choose which subcategory you like, as seen in the screenshot below.

Marketplace (NBA Top Shot)
Marketplace (NBA Top Shot)

When you buy or sell Moments on the marketplace, you do so directly with another community member. There is no mediator involved in the transaction. The transaction is like buying and selling a product on eBay where the transaction takes place.

This article was originally published on Aug 12, 2022 at 7:14 p.m. UTC


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

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Mike  Antolin

Mike Antolin was CoinDesk's SEO Content Writer for Learn.

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